Spanish newspaper El Mundo has leaked Lionel Messi’s current contract, making the Argentine highest-paid sportsperson of all-time. FC Barcelona reportedly offered Messi around €555 million ($670 million) for four years.
The club has officially denied the accuracy of the report. However, candidates for the club board’s President have defended the contract. Firstly, the reason they state is that Messi generates several times more than the club pays him. Secondly, they also explicitly mention that he is not responsible for the debt it is in.
El Mundo published a document containing the contract that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was offered in 2017.
To break it down, Barcelona is paying Messi a whopping €139 million (or $167 million a year). To put this into perspective, this is roughly 21 times the average NBA salary.
Lionel Messi’s wage well surpasses the highest-paid athletes across other sports, like the NBA’s Damian Lillard ($257 million over six years), the NFL’s Patrick Mahomes ($450 million over ten years), and the MLB’s Bryce Harper ($330 million over 13 years)
However, with the star reportedly looking to leave the club this summer, the leak is anything but good news for them.
Update: FC Barcelona has decided to sue the newspaper for releasing these details.